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Oct 21, 2009 1:27 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town candidate debate attracts nearly 200 people

Southampton Ballet (PDF)
Oct 21, 2009 1:27 PM

The two candidates for Southampton Town supervisor were able to agree on one issue during a debate held Friday night in Hampton Bays: there should be no more affordable housing projects built in the hamlet.

“There is a saturation level that has been met,” said incumbent Republican Town Supervisor Linda Kabot during the nearly three-hour debate held on October 16 at the Southampton Town Senior Center on Ponquogue Avenue.

“You have my pledge that these affordable housing [projects] will be moved to another district east of the canal ... if I am your supervisor,” said Southampton Town Board member Anna Throne-Holst, Ms. Kabot’s opponent. Ms. Throne-Holst has earned the Democratic endorsement for supervisor in the general election on November 3.

Ms. Kabot and Ms. Throne-Holst were just two of the town candidates featured during the debate, which attracted nearly 200 people and was sponsored by the Hampton Bays Civic Association. Also participating were Southampton Town Board incumbents Chris Nuzzi and his running mate Jim Malone, both Republicans, and current Town Board member Sally Pope and her running mate, Bridget Fleming, both Democrats.

Additionally, both highway superintendent candidates—Democrat Alex Gregor and Republican John McGann—answered questions, as did four of the five incumbent Town Trustees—Republicans Jon Semlear, Eric Shultz, Ed Warner Jr. and Fred Havemeyer—and their two Democratic opponents, Chris Garvey and Bill Pell. Trustee Brian Tymann, who is also running for reelection, was not in attendance.

Southampton Town Justices Barbara Wilson and Deborah Kooperstein, and Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, all of whom are running unopposed, also introduced themselves to the audience at the start of the debate.

In addition to speaking on a variety of town issues, the majority of those pertaining to Hampton Bays, candidates answered dozens of questions posed by civic association members and some of the nearly 200 people who were in attendance Friday night.

Though they agreed that Hampton Bays should not be the home of any more affordable housing projects, Ms. Kabot and Ms. Throne-Holst had differing opinions on how to lower school district taxes in the hamlet. Ms. Throne-Holst said she would like to see the Hampton Bays School District investigate the possibility of sharing services with municipalities on the East End, while Ms. Kabot said she would like to see a reform of the way school taxes are distributed in Albany.

“I believe the State of New York should reform its school taxes and formulas,” Ms. Kabot said.

Another question directed toward Ms. Throne-Holst asked what she thought were the most pressing issues for Hampton Bays. Her response: code enforcement, over-development and keeping the Southampton Town Animal Shelter open.

Another hot-button topic pertaining to Hampton Bays was what could be done to preserve the hamlet’s historic structures. Ms. Pope, who lives in Remsenburg, said that saving the Canoe Place Inn, which its owners want to raze in order to make way for a time-share complex, is of utmost importance to her.

“I know there are almost 1,500 of you who have submitted petitions,” Ms. Pope told audience members, referring to a recent attempt to preserve the historic structure.

The town’s $78.8 million budget, which calls for the elimination of 44 town positions, and the municipality’s financial problems were also discussed during Friday’s debate. One question asked of Ms. Throne-Holst was what she knew about the town’s financial situation that prompted her to call for a forensic audit of the town’s books earlier this year.

“I knew how to ask the questions,” Ms. Throne-Holst replied.

Ms. Kabot noted that her proposed 2010 budget cuts $4.5 million from the town’s current spending plan. Still, her proposed budget would still raise the town property tax rate by 5 percent—the highest allowed under town law—a move that is needed to help pay down the estimated $10 million deficit in the town’s capital fund.

The proposed 2010 budget also eliminates $1 million in spending for the town’s animal shelter, which is located in Hampton Bays. Under the current spending plan, the town facility would receive no funding in 2010, leaving the 200 animals now housed at the shelter with an uncertain fate come January 1, 2010. Meanwhile, a local non-profit group, the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, is trying to work with the town to keep the shelter open.

Mr. Malone, the Republican Town Board candidate, stressed that he has lived in Hampton Bays for many years and hamlet residents should put their support behind his campaign.

“How about we actually put someone on the Town Board who lives in the community,” Mr. Malone said.

Ms. Fleming, who lives in Noyac and is making her first bid for public office, stressed that the town needs to curb overdevelopment by implementing responsible growth.

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We don't want affordable housing units east of the canal. Real estate has always been too valuable for that type of use. Hampton bays has always been known as the dumping grounds so the affordable housing units belong there or not at all.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Oct 20, 09 7:38 PM
Speak for yourself.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Oct 22, 09 10:18 AM
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 24, 09 10:52 AM
The Civic Association waisted everyones time. This was not a debate over real issues at all and the man running the show did not have a clue. After the association got all of the candidates to pledge elegance to their hamlet plan, which is what the entire night seemed to be about, no real issues were discussed. I hope everone remembers this farce next year and dosen't show up.
By Sqrwheel (1), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 09 8:49 PM

1) Will you retire some of the 27 cops who are working beyond their twenty year contractual retirement date and costing the Town $3.6M year?

2) Will you pledge to vote to retain the Town Animal Shelter even if it means cutting other jobs, (like the supra-contractual cops)?

How about these questions?

The parochial softball questions that were asked were all responded to with answers that can't be checked. "Do you disapprove of higher taxes?" "How do ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 21, 09 3:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
Highhatsize, that's really good -- "why not ask them what type of tree they would like to be?" You're so right about the softball questions, and they were, as you say, deeply parochial, especially the questions distributed in advance, which were also overlong and repetitive, reflecting someone's narrow-focus agenda and burdening the evening with an ill-conceived format that called for each and every candidate to answer each and every part of each and every advance question. It wasn't the moderator'sfault; ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 22, 09 1:22 AM
Turkey Bridge: All the candidates gave the same answers regarding the development study of Hampton Bays.

I must give credit to Flemming for some how working in the 9/11 tragedy to the question regarding the civic's scoping document.

By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 22, 09 9:00 AM
FUNGIBLE CRIMES ???????????????
By SamIAm (36), hampton bays on Oct 22, 09 3:10 PM
Have you heard what Fleming did in NYC after 9-11? She organized, managed and expidited all of the pro-bono legal work done for the victims of the attack.
There were thousands of attorneys who volunteered to help the victim’s families, and it was Bridget Fleming who, on behalf of the city of New York, made that free legal help a reality by setting up a huge free legal aid location in one of the armories in the city. Not only did she handle this massive task but she also helped ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Oct 22, 09 4:59 PM
Again how does any of that relate to the Hampton Bays visioning Document made by the Civic Group. It is nothing more than political posturing and using a tragedy to stir emotions.

Basically she got a big room for attorneys and victims to meet?
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 25, 09 7:54 PM
Sounds a little like Lois Griffin from Family Guy. go to the following page and click "play":
By SamIAm (36), hampton bays on Oct 22, 09 5:58 PM
It just occurs to me that Jim Malone, the Conservative Party Chairman and Republican candidate for Town Board, has never commited to leave his County job if he's elected. His website calls him "Senior Deputy Clerk and Chief Fiscal Director", saying he "manages over 130 government employees and hundreds of millions of dollars a year." This is a big deal. It must take a lot of time to do this job. Also, it's a government job, so he's not his own boss and has to be in there 9:00 to 5:00, right?

The ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 23, 09 12:39 PM
I asked that same question awhile back, and was informed by "Terry" who posts here often and appears to know these things, that Jim Malone would resign his county job if elected to the Town Board.

I watched the televised debate last evening on SeaTV, and Mr. Malone, to his credit came across very professional and well spoken. Ms. Kabot and Ms. Throne-Holst acted like two junior high students vying for a half wit popularity contest.

ATH defended her decision to let Town personnel ...more
By CommonSense (71), Southampton on Oct 23, 09 1:17 PM
Kabot cut all take home vehicles with the exception of those on call and those with first responder responsibilities.
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 25, 09 7:57 PM
Lets go back to the top. Who are you "walt" of southampton. Lets meet for a cup of coffee some time. You pick the day and place. I'll bring some other local family representives to discuss your comments on how little people like you think of our children and grandchildren. As i write this blog to you gutless nonames my daughter is signing a contact on a home for her family 45 minutes west of here. Affordable housing is not a right or a gift but a recongnition of a real part of the "free" market ...more
By Bob Schepps (77), Southampton on Oct 23, 09 5:06 PM
Unlike your family Bob, I have worked for vereything I have, including housing. If you can't afford housing, then move to an area where you can. Hampton Bays has always been the cheaper place to live compared to areas east of the canal. How about Wyandanch?
By Walt (292), Southampton on Oct 25, 09 12:18 PM
What are Anna's qualifications for the town's highest office? What has she done for the past 22 month's in office besides ask for an audit? What past experience does she have in the private sector?
All Throne-Holst keeps doing is pointing finger and casting blame, she has criticized the 2010 budget as presented but has offered nothing of her own in balancing the budget. This shows she lacks leadership, knowledge and has no real plan.
This is irresponsible for a supervisor candidate. She's ...more
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 24, 09 11:24 PM
As bad as town gov't currently is,the voters can not afford a democratic party leadership. The democratic paty has no record of ever lowering taxes. All you will get will be higher taxes and entitlements.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Oct 25, 09 12:14 PM
Walt.....Did you read the article about town spending in the past decade? Our Southampton Town spending grew 41% in the past seven years. This was done under the Southampton Town Republican machine. Our local GOP raises hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, the GOP keeps power and the doners get access to town government. EVERY board in town government is Republican so those campaign doners get influence over town government through the Southampton Town Republican Party.

41% ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Oct 25, 09 8:51 PM
The democrats had the majority in most of those years you are referring to.

Also have you noticed how much the SH Town PBA donated to Anna Throne-Holst's campaign for the past 4-5 months, $2,300 is no small number. What will this cost the town to accept big donations from the PBA. How can Throne-Holst ever do the work of the people when she owns the PBA. No raise in salary for the PBA no endorsements thats the way it works, they own her. The people should be afraid of Ann Throne-Holst ...more
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 25, 09 9:34 PM
Yes..we know the drill, "Dems will tax you out of your house and home". You try to paint them as such so that the GOP can run the town and keep power, privilages and perks that they are use to having in SH town.

What was printed in the press stated that Town spending went up 41% in the past seven years....REPUBLICAN years. Yes those tax and spend Republicans!
This town has been and is still dominated by the Republicans, and they got us in this mess and no matter who is elected, we ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Oct 25, 09 11:43 PM
And what picture are you painting? The DEMOCRATS had the majority in most of those years. No picture painting just facts.
Like your democrat friends you point fingers and criticize, but never have any real answers.

BTW you want to talk about donations tell us about the police donations to ATH ($2,300). What influence will they have over Ms. Throne-Holst?
We should all be afraid of ATH & Company.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 26, 09 12:43 AM
Are you really Linda Kabot or her husband?
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Oct 26, 09 8:29 AM
Right, I'm Kabot or her husband, then you must be Throne-Holst because all you do is criticize and not answer any questions.
How about taking a shot and answer the question on how the $2,300 in police donations will influence Throne-Holst.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 26, 09 7:31 PM
From 06-09 the Southampton Town PBA has contributed $10830.00 to various campaigns....All republicans...including Linda Kabot. You are just angry, very angry, that they are not backing you...or is it your wife.
Did the PBA donations influence the Republicans?
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Oct 26, 09 9:25 PM
3-4 time you did not answer the question and skirted the issue. You must be Throne-Holst
No one is angry, but I did check online the pba never donated to Kabot you are not telling the truth.
The reason the pba endorsed Throne-Holst was because she was not in favor of police retirements last year. How do you think this will effect her vote on future police retirements or on the raise they are looking for.
You seem to know what's going on in our town, you tell me SHNative what supervisor ...more
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 26, 09 10:22 PM
One more attempt to get through to "walt" from Hampton Bays. Check out this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdu_KveENqE
Somehing is very wrong with the idea that if you can't afford "here" move. You hide behing some conservative montra of America is for winners and everyone else are just losers. My Grandpa bought a home for twice his annual salary. So did my father and so did I. My son and daughter are excluded from the town and taxpayer dollars used to educate them by not allowing smaller ...more
By Bob Schepps (77), Southampton on Oct 26, 09 10:59 PM
Chris Nuzzi's Sign Dogs are back again, pulling out opposition signs and throwing them in the woods. Even if he didn't start it, Chris Nuzzi can make it stop, and he needs to do that, or we'll all think he's OK with this infantile cheating.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 29, 09 3:36 PM